Goin Solar

Question:

Nope, sold the Winnie.  Now have a BlueBird.  I do, however, still have the letter from Norcold.  And that is what it states.

Sorry if I confused you, but the friends I am referring to have a 23.5′ Minnie Winnie, and we caravan with them frequently. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

What about refer and pump?  Pumps usually pull quite a bit and even on propane, almost all refers use electric for ignition.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – SInce I am a relatively new owner of an older 1982 Coachmen Class C without a generator and after many questions and looking at power alternatives, I have decided to avoid buying a noisy, fume makin’ generator and install a 85 watt solar panel system with a 20 amp charge controller that allows for expansion. SInce I already have a 1500 watt inverter it made sense to install a second house battery and the panels. The amp-hr useage and the 62 watt-hrs per day inventory suggested that we could boonedock 3 days and then and only then if there was no sun. I also figured I could run the RV motor to charge batteries if I really needed to in a pinch. Besides for lights I can always use a small propane lamp! If the 85 watt system is still a little short I can always add a second panel. I can also take this system with me when I trade up! We have a 22′ class-C with no generator. I installed two 53W panels and an 8A simple shunt regulator. With our panels flat on the roof, max charging in the middle of the summer is about 5.4A, vs the 6A one-sun rating of the panels. In winter, in is about half that on a sunny day (SoCal). Our two group 27 RV/Marine batteries will go about 4 days with no sun – to the 50% charge point. With sun we recharge about as fast as we use it. Several changes have helped extend dry camps. We rarely use the furnace, relying mostly on our 2800 BTU catalytic heater. We don’t heat while we sleep, but run it as much as we want while we’re up, and it uses no electricity. A Fantastic Fan and vent cover keeps it comfy inside on all but the hottest days – on low, where it consumes about 1 Amp. Flourescents over the sink and for overall lighting are much more efficient, and for reading we have true spotlights – the 1383 incandescent bulb is a winner here. Also have a white LED lamp now which is fine for reading late night, and consumes only 60 mA. All said, our only limitation now is when we have to plan a trip to the dump. The only possible liability to adding solar is the need to always site in full sun to get any charging – which has not been a problem for us. Good luck with your installation. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

What about refer and pump?  Pumps usually pull quite a bit and even on propane, almost all refers use electric for ignition.

Both I and the original poster have older m’homes which have a constant-pilot refer burner. The only 12V is for the interior light, unless he has replaced the fridge. Friends of ours have a new m’home with a similar setup, and the fridge draw seems small. The pump is a short duty-cycle appliance. I doubt if most would have it on more than 1 hr a day, at an average 5 Amps = 5 A-hr. We also have a small 12V color TV and a 12V VCP which we use on occasion, a 12V adapter for CD player, cell-phone, cam-corder battery charger, and a 150W inverter for stray uses that crop up. If the days are sunny, we use it all pretty much with impunity as we want. If we are dry-camped in rainy weather for 4 days, we limit it to necessity, one light at a time, etc. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

The refers use quite a bit, actually.  Ours, according to the mfr, drew over 3 amps in normal conditions.  More if a dehumidifier switch is on and more in higher temps.   Surprising.

I could understand a high draw with a dehumidifier active (I would guess some sort of defroster function), but 3A in normal seems odd for an efficient design running on LP. Do you know the make and model of your fridge? Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text –    I would question that figure, since the 12 volt fuse on all Norcolds from the 83X(X) EG series up to the newest N series is a 3 amp fuse, and I do not believe that they would run it at or near capacity.    From the Norcold service manual for the 600 series: "As indicated in the specifications, a 12 volt DC source is required for operation on gas to provide features of automatic ignition. The current draw is less than 500 milliamps. If the Humidity Heater is also energized, this adds 240 milliamps for a total of 740 milliamps (.74 amps). This indicates that the drain on the battery is very low and has little effect on "battery run down" unless these switches are left on for long periods of time on a battery with no means of recharging."    The only other draw is the interior light, rated at 300 milliamps (.3 amps). — Chris Bryant

Ahh, my friends with the Winnie will be relieved. Thanks, Chris. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

Nope, sold the Winnie.  Now have a BlueBird.  I do, however, still have the letter from Norcold.  And that is what it states.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I would question that figure, since the 12 volt fuse on all Norcolds from the 83X(X) EG series up to the newest N series is a 3 amp fuse, and I do not believe that they would run it at or near capacity. From the Norcold service manual for the 600 series: "As indicated in the specifications, a 12 volt DC source is required for operation on gas to provide features of automatic ignition. The current draw is less than 500 milliamps. If the Humidity Heater is also energized, this adds 240 milliamps for a total of 740 milliamps (.74 amps). This indicates that the drain on the battery is very low and has little effect on "battery run down" unless these switches are left on for long periods of time on a battery with no means of recharging." The only other draw is the interior light, rated at 300 milliamps (.3 amps). — Chris Bryant Ahh, my friends with the Winnie will be relieved. Thanks, Chris. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

It was a Norcold installed in a 1988 Winnebago.  We have since sold it and have a different machine.  We got so tired of the ‘arguing around the campfire’ (we do a lot of boondocking) that we wrote to the manufacturer to get the real deal.  Were kind of surprised ourselves.  The actual number was above 3 A without using the dehumidifier switch.  3.4 or something like that.

        I would question that figure, since the 12 volt fuse on all Norcolds from the 83X(X) EG series up to the newest N series is a 3 amp fuse, and I do not believe that they would run it at or near capacity.         From the Norcold service manual for the 600 series: "As indicated in the specifications, a 12 volt DC source is required for operation on gas to provide features of automatic ignition. The current draw is less than 500 milliamps. If the Humidity Heater is also energized, this adds 240 milliamps for a total of 740 milliamps (.74 amps). This indicates that the drain on the battery is very low and has little effect on "battery run down" unless these switches are left on for long periods of time on a battery with no means of recharging."         The only other draw is the interior light, rated at 300 milliamps (.3 amps). — Chris Bryant

Response:

It was a Norcold installed in a 1988 Winnebago.  We have since sold it and have a different machine.  We got so tired of the ‘arguing around the campfire’ (we do a lot of boondocking) that we wrote to the manufacturer to get the real deal.  Were kind of surprised ourselves.  The actual number was above 3 A without using the dehumidifier switch.  3.4 or something like that.

Thanks. I asked because our friends have a Winnie with a Norcold – maybe I should have him call and get that info too. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

It was a Norcold installed in a 1988 Winnebago.  We have since sold it and have a different machine.  We got so tired of the ‘arguing around the campfire’ (we do a lot of boondocking) that we wrote to the manufacturer to get the real deal.  Were kind of surprised ourselves.  The actual number was above 3 A without using the dehumidifier switch.  3.4 or something like that.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – The refers use quite a bit, actually.  Ours, according to the mfr, drew over 3 amps in normal conditions.  More if a dehumidifier switch is on and more in higher temps.   Surprising. I could understand a high draw with a dehumidifier active (I would guess some sort of defroster function), but 3A in normal seems odd for an efficient design running on LP. Do you know the make and model of your fridge? Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

Wouldn’t a candle be easier?

If you are referring to the LED lamp, the light will blind you if you look into the beam, and is wide enough to cover most of the newspaper page from 3 ft. If you have better eyes than mine, that may be ok, but I need REALLY bright light to comfortably read newsprint at 3 ft anymore. As for candles, a couple romantic forays by candlelight that nearly sent the m’home up in flames shows we cannot be trusted with the devices indoors anymore. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

The refers use quite a bit, actually.  Ours, according to the mfr, drew over 3 amps in normal conditions.  More if a dehumidifier switch is on and more in higher temps.   Surprising.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – What about refer and pump?  Pumps usually pull quite a bit and even on propane, almost all refers use electric for ignition. Both I and the original poster have older m’homes which have a constant-pilot refer burner. The only 12V is for the interior light, unless he has replaced the fridge. Friends of ours have a new m’home with a similar setup, and the fridge draw seems small. The pump is a short duty-cycle appliance. I doubt if most would have it on more than 1 hr a day, at an average 5 Amps = 5 A-hr. We also have a small 12V color TV and a 12V VCP which we use on occasion, a 12V adapter for CD player, cell-phone, cam-corder battery charger, and a 150W inverter for stray uses that crop up. If the days are sunny, we use it all pretty much with impunity as we want. If we are dry-camped in rainy weather for 4 days, we limit it to necessity, one light at a time, etc. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

Also have a white LED lamp now which is fine for reading late night, and consumes only 60 mA.

This is exactly what I have been contemplating for a couple of applications, and because they (Led’s) are a little pricey, I was hoping to run into some one actually using them before ordering. How many individual Led’s does this reading lamp have? brian

Response:

This is exactly what I have been contemplating for a couple of

applications, and because they (Led’s) are a little pricey, I was hoping to run into some

one actually using them before ordering. How many individual Led’s does this reading lamp have? brian

There are 9 LED’s in a 3X3 array – 3 plus a resistor from 12V. A circuit board was provided with all the LED’s and resistors mounted. I bought a cheap tensor-style halogen lamp at Kmart, rewired the input to bypass the transformer and replaced the AC cord with a 12V accessory cord. I modified the sample board to plug into the head of the lamp where the 2-pin halogen bulb had been. The lamp is designed so the head is extensible from about 6" to 18" from the base, I can set it almost anywhere I can reach a 12V plug, and position the light close to what I am reading. This works fine for a paperback, but the light pattern is too tight to comfortably handle a newspaper, and rather dim if I back it off to cover more of the page. These lights would also be great though as nightlights – one or two would do – porchlights, etc. For reading more comfortably in a chair or at the couch – and with a more natural light – I use the 1383 incandescent bulbs in bullet fixtures. They are a true spotlight with a very uniform pattern. Draw is about 1.6A or so, but so bright and broad enough a beam to double as great area lighting. Except in the kitchen, our flourescents are ceiling mounted and ‘cool-white’. We rarely use them because we don’t like the color – but they do put out a lotof light. The under-counter one in the kitchen works great. I have also added some small halogen fixtures – available at Home Depot – as auxiliary reading lights under cabinets and at the head of the bed. They work well too, but the 20W bulbs can get pretty hot. The 10W bulbs seem fine, and give adequate light. They are not as good as the 1383′s, however. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

it off to cover more of the page. These lights would also be great though as nightlights – one or two would do – porchlights, etc.

I seem to be suffering from some sort of posting dyslexia today. The above should read: ‘These LED’s would also be great…..’ Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

Wouldn’t a candle be easier?

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – This is exactly what I have been contemplating for a couple of applications, and because they (Led’s) are a little pricey, I was hoping to run into some one actually using them before ordering. How many individual Led’s does this reading lamp have? brian There are 9 LED’s in a 3X3 array – 3 plus a resistor from 12V. A circuit board was provided with all the LED’s and resistors mounted. I bought a cheap tensor-style halogen lamp at Kmart, rewired the input to bypass the transformer and replaced the AC cord with a 12V accessory cord. I modified the sample board to plug into the head of the lamp where the 2-pin halogen bulb had been. The lamp is designed so the head is extensible from about 6" to 18" from the base, I can set it almost anywhere I can reach a 12V plug, and position the light close to what I am reading. This works fine for a paperback, but the light pattern is too tight to comfortably handle a newspaper, and rather dim if I back it off to cover more of the page. These lights would also be great though as nightlights – one or two would do – porchlights, etc. For reading more comfortably in a chair or at the couch – and with a more natural light – I use the 1383 incandescent bulbs in bullet fixtures. They are a true spotlight with a very uniform pattern. Draw is about 1.6A or so, but so bright and broad enough a beam to double as great area lighting. Except in the kitchen, our flourescents are ceiling mounted and ‘cool-white’. We rarely use them because we don’t like the color – but they do put out a lotof light. The under-counter one in the kitchen works great. I have also added some small halogen fixtures – available at Home Depot – as auxiliary reading lights under cabinets and at the head of the bed. They work well too, but the 20W bulbs can get pretty hot. The 10W bulbs seem fine, and give adequate light. They are not as good as the 1383′s, however. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

Response:

SInce I am a relatively new owner of an older 1982 Coachmen Class C without a generator and after many questions and looking at power alternatives, I have decided to avoid buying a noisy, fume makin’ generator and install a 85 watt solar panel system with a 20 amp charge controller that allows for expansion. SInce I already have a 1500 watt inverter it made sense to install a second house battery and the panels. The amp-hr useage and the 62 watt-hrs per day inventory suggested that we could boonedock 3 days and then and only then if there was no sun. I also figured I could run the RV motor to charge batteries if I really needed to in a pinch. Besides for lights I can always use a small propane lamp! If the 85 watt system is still a little short I can always add a second panel. I can also take this system with me when I trade up!

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – SInce I am a relatively new owner of an older 1982 Coachmen Class C without a generator and after many questions and looking at power alternatives, I have decided to avoid buying a noisy, fume makin’ generator and install a 85 watt solar panel system with a 20 amp charge controller that allows for expansion. SInce I already have a 1500 watt inverter it made sense to install a second house battery and the panels. The amp-hr useage and the 62 watt-hrs per day inventory suggested that we could boonedock 3 days and then and only then if there was no sun. I also figured I could run the RV motor to charge batteries if I really needed to in a pinch. Besides for lights I can always use a small propane lamp! If the 85 watt system is still a little short I can always add a second panel. I can also take this system with me when I trade up!

We have a 22′ class-C with no generator. I installed two 53W panels and an 8A simple shunt regulator. With our panels flat on the roof, max charging in the middle of the summer is about 5.4A, vs the 6A one-sun rating of the panels. In winter, in is about half that on a sunny day (SoCal). Our two group 27 RV/Marine batteries will go about 4 days with no sun – to the 50% charge point. With sun we recharge about as fast as we use it. Several changes have helped extend dry camps. We rarely use the furnace, relying mostly on our 2800 BTU catalytic heater. We don’t heat while we sleep, but run it as much as we want while we’re up, and it uses no electricity. A Fantastic Fan and vent cover keeps it comfy inside on all but the hottest days – on low, where it consumes about 1 Amp. Flourescents over the sink and for overall lighting are much more efficient, and for reading we have true spotlights – the 1383 incandescent bulb is a winner here. Also have a white LED lamp now which is fine for reading late night, and consumes only 60 mA. All said, our only limitation now is when we have to plan a trip to the dump. The only possible liability to adding solar is the need to always site in full sun to get any charging – which has not been a problem for us. Good luck with your installation. Steve * Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet’s Discussion Network * The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet – Free!

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